GMU Faculty Handbook Committee Minutes - October 30, 2008

DRAFT MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE

Thursday October 30, 2008

Mason Hall, room D5; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

 

Present:  Kevin Avruch, Associate Director and Professor of Conflict Resolution, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Lorraine Brown, Professor of English, College of Humanities and Social Sciences; Rick Coffinberger, Associate Professor of Business and Legal Studies, School of Management, Chair; Martin Ford, Senior Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Development;. Dave Harr, Senior Associate Dean, School of Management; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science. 


Discussion:  Post-approval revision suggestions to the Faculty Handbook: 
Some of the following revisions were proposed by the Handbook Committee (FHC) to correct usage/grammatical/factual errors or to insure internal consistency.  A resolution passed by the faculty of the School of Law on October 8, 2008  contained revisions in addition to its rationale recommending the proposed Handbook not be approved at the October 15th Faculty Senate Special Meeting (SOL Resolution); and a set of additional draft changes proposed by the School of Law contained in a memorandum October 8, 2008 from Professor Lloyd Cohen and Professor Allison Hayward, Senators from the School of Law, (SOL Draft Changes) were also considered.

 

CHAPTER ONE

Preface – 2009 Revision, p. 3 (FHC):  Paragraph four, phrase at end of first sentence:  “elected” replaced “appointed” “...consisting of three faculty elected appointed by the Faculty Senate”.  The second sentence “Arrangements must assure an expeditious meeting in cases of urgency.”  was moved to become  the third sentence in the paragraph.   In the new second sentence (formerly third sentence), the phrase “one of the elected faculty members as” is inserted between “appoints” and “committee chair” : and the phrase  from the three faculty members” was deleted.  The revised sentence reads:  The chair of the Faculty Senate appoints one of the elected faculty members as the committee chair from the three faculty members.

 

Preface – 2009 Revision, p. 3 – (FHC):  Paragraph five, phrase at end of second sentence:   “for” replaced “from”  ..or who have filed a written request with his or her dean or director to be evaluated for from the award of tenure.”

 

Preface – 2009 Revision, p. 4 (FHC): Paragraph one:  Removal of possessive adjective “.. then the Provost and the Faculty Senate's  Executive Committee...”.  “Website” inserted in last sentence of penultimate paragraph between “these” and “for” so that revised sentence reads:  Please refer to these websites for issues not addressed in the Faculty Handbook.” 

 

Preface – 2009 Revision, p. 4 (SOL Resolution):  Key - Deletions are indicated by underscore and brackets []; Additions are indicated by bold-faced italics; Explanatory notes are in regular italics.)

 

“When a policy or procedure described in this Handbook is reasonably subject to

alternative interpretations, then the Provost and the Faculty Senate’s Executive Committee will

meet and confer [be the designated body] to resolve the matter in writing, which shall be

published to all members of the faculty [disagreement]”; provided, however, that no such

resolution shall operate to change materially the substantive rights of any faculty member as

otherwise provided herein.

Explanatory Note1

This amendment is designed to insure that the “interpretation” function is not subverted

into a sub rosa method of amending the Handbook. Accordingly, it provides that the

interpretative power must be invoked reasonably and with accountability, and that any such

interpretations are not treated as the equivalent of the operative legal language of the Faculty

Handbook in setting forth the respective contractual obligations of the faculty member and the

University. Interpretations by administrators or others may be considered, but should not be

taken as legally binding by a reviewing court in the event of litigation.

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee did not make any changes to this paragraph because both the Committee and the University Counsel judged it to be clearer and fully adequate in its original form.

 

Table of Contents – 2009 Revision, p. 7  (FHC) – Section 2.7.2 Procedures for Renewal (Reappointment) retitled as 2.7.2 Procedures for Reappointment (Contract Renewal) for greater clarity.

 

1.2.3 Executive Council and President's Council – 2009 Revision, p. 13 (FHC):  In first sentence,  “of the University” deleted:  The Executive Council of the University is the President’s advisory group.

 

1.2.5 Faculty Participation in the Selection of Certain Members of the Central Administration – 2009 Revision, p. 15  (FHC):  addition of “must” in the last sentence of paragraphs 2, 3, and 4;  revised as follows:  (paragraph 2):  The search and selection process must includes opportunities for the General Faculty to meet with candidates who are finalists for the presidency.

(paragraph 3):  The search and selection process must includes opportunities for the General Faculty to meet with candidates who are finalists for the Provost position.

(paragraph 4):  The search and selection process must includes opportunities for the college, school, or institute faculty to meet with candidates who are finalists for the position.

 

1.3.2 The Faculty Senate – 2009 Revision, p. 18 (SOL Draft Changes):  Paragraph two, sentence two, proposed deletion of “ in accord  with sections 40.1-57.2 and 40.1-57.3 of the Code of Virginia”

 

The principal function of the Faculty Senate is to represent the faculty on all academic and governance issues not internal to any single school, college, or academic institute, This including but is not limited to, curricular matters, matters concerning terms and conditions of faculty employment in accord  with sections 40.1-57.2 and 40.1-57.3 of the Code of Virginia, and matters of academic organization and institutional change.”

 

Explanation:  These citations to the Code were inserted at the 8/6/08 handbook committee meeting at the University Counsel’s request.  We do not understand why it is desirable to cross reference collective bargaining law here.  Moreover, to the extent the terms of these statutes change over time, the terms of the Handbook change without the faculty knowing it.

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee accepted this revision within the parameters approved by the University Counsel.  Additional FHC revision replaced  “This includes, but is not limited to” with “..including, but not limited to...” .

 

1.3.3 Colleges and Schools – 2009 Revision, p. 19  (FHC):  Paragraph two (iii):  to add “academic” before programs, and “other activities” after programs for consistency with Section 1.3.4..  (iii) it has an instructional budget that includes FTE funds for the payment of its faculty's salaries as well as funds for goods and services in support of its academic programs and other activities;

 

1.3.5 Academic Departments – 2009 Revision, p. 22 (FHC):  Paragraph one, sentence two:  to replace “on” with “out”.  Departments are established to carry out on programs of instruction, research and scholarship...

 

1.3.6 Definition of Local Academic Units  (LAU) – 2009 Revision, p. 23  (SOL Draft Changes):  Paragraph two, last sentence:  to add “post-tenure review”They play a primary role in such matters of faculty status as the recruitment and initial appointment of new faculty; the reappointment, promotion, tenure decisions , and post-tenure review of members; and in the case of departments, the selection of the department chair”.

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee accepted this revision and also deleted “decisions”.

 

 1.3.8 The Graduate Council – 2009 Revision, p. 26 (FHC):  Paragraph two, last sentence:  Replaced “listed” with set forth”:  “Like colleges, schools, institutes and departments, however, it must act within the guidelines set forth listed in Section 1.3.3.”

 

1.3.9 Multidisciplinary or Interdisciplinary Programs – 2009 Revision, p. 28 (FHC):  Paragraph two, first sentence:  To insert “academic” between “local” and “unit”:  Some multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary programs are offered by faculties drawn from more than a single local academic unit.

 

Paragraph four, last sentence:  Replaced “listed” with “set forth: “Together with their directors, they determine the procedures of governance they will employ, but all program faculties must act within the guidelines set forth listed  in Section 1.3.3.”

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

2.1.7 Academic Year Appointments and Fiscal Year Appointments - 2009 Revision to FIG Text, p. 10 (FHC):  Paragraph one, second sentence:  After some discussion, the committee replaced “available” with “are earned”:   For administrative purposes, the academic-year for instructional faculty is the 9-month period from August 25 through May 24.  This is the period during which faculty are paid and benefits available are earned.

 

2.3.2 Procedures for Recruitment and Appointment of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty – 2009 Revision, pp. 24-25 (SOL Draft Changes):  Language on both pages: The appointment process moves forward only when a majority of the LAU faculty who are eligible to vote accept the candidate.

 

Explanation:  As it reads now, appointments may only move forward if a majority of the entire tenured faculty approve.  It is more conventional to require a majority of those present and voting (and a quorum) not a majority of all eligible voters.  The Minutes from January 23 suggest that the Senate meant only that the tenure vote should be by faculty eligible to vote on tenure, but the transmitted text did not preserve that concept.  In any case the unit’s existing procedure for approval should govern.

 

Revision: The appointment process moves forward only after approval by the tenured LAU faculty.  when a majority of the LAU faculty who are eligible to vote accept the candidate.

 

OUTCOME:   The Handbook Committee rejected this revision since the original wording allows units flexibility in that units can decide to make physical presence a condition of eligibility (or not).

 

2.3.2.1 Awarding of Tenure at the Time of Appointment in Competitive Searches – 2009 Revision, p. 25 (FHC):  Paragraph two, first sentence:  to add “institute-” If the candidate is nominated for tenure upon appointment, he or she must also be reviewed by the college-, school-, or institute-level promotion and tenure committee.”

2.4 Criteria for Evaluation of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty –2009 Revision, p. 29 (SOL Draft Changes)  Language:  Recommendations in these matters originate through faculty action in accordance with established procedures; are reviewed by senior academic administrators; and presented to the Board for final approval. The administration should overturn faculty personnel recommendations rarely, and only when it is clear that peer faculty have not applied high standards, or when the University's long- term programmatic needs are an overriding consideration. Only in extraordinary circumstances and for clear and compelling reasons should administrators substitute their own judgment of the value of scholarly accomplishments for judgments made by professionals in the discipline.  In such cases both the candidate and the faculty bodies participating in the decision-making process are entitled to know the reasons administrators give to the President in recommending that faculty judgment be overturned.

 

Explanation:  This passage is internally inconsistent.  Do administrators get to overturn faculty evaluations alone?  When does the President get to weigh in?

 

Revision: The administration should recommend rejecting faculty personnel recommendations rarely, and only when it is clear that peer faculty have not applied high standards, or when the University's long- term programmatic needs are an overriding consideration…

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee rejected this revision because it is less relevant than the original wording.  The admonition to administrators refers most critically to instances when they do in fact have the power to overturn.” 

 

Committee Responses to SOL Proposals relating to 2.6.2 Post-Tenure Review

 

2.6.2 Post Tenure Review Policies and Procedures – 2009 Revision, p. 41 (SOL Resolution A):

(A) Page 41, in the “POLICY” subdivision, paragraph 1 c):

“c) In accordance with the principles of peer judgment, the faculty of each local academic unit

(LAU) will establish its criteria for “unsatisfactory performance.”

Explanatory Note

This amendment clarifies that LAUs act through their respective voting faculties, and

focuses the prescribed criteria on “unsatisfactory performance,” which is the term of art used

elsewhere in § 2.6.2, as a predicate for termination or other disciplinary action.

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee accepted the revision while also retaining the word “satisfactory”. 

 

2.6.2 Post Tenure Review Policies and Procedures – 2009 Revision, p. 42 (SOL Resolution B):

 B) Page 42, in the “PROCEDURE” subdivision, paragraph 3:

“3. The LAU administrator and the Office of the Provost will address relevant issues in

subsequent annual evaluations during the rolling four year period. Tenured faculty members who

receive two overall “unsatisfactory” ratings in a four-year period will be required to submit a

summary of activities and accomplishments in teaching, research, and service, as appropriate,

during the four-year period, along with copies of annual evaluation results for that four-year

period to the school/college/institute Promotion and Tenure Committee (i.e., the body authorized

to conduct second-level review under the provisions of section 2.7.3), serving as an Evaluation

Committee.

Explanatory Note

The first change is designed to clarify that, in some schools, second-level tenure review

may not be conducted by the school’s Promotion and Tenure Committee. In the School of Law,

for example, second-level review is conducted by the tenured law faculty, acting as a committee

of the whole.

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee accepted the first proposed revision (change) to Section 2.6.2 Procedures B.  3. 

 

The Evaluation Committee will not use the standards associated with the awarding of tenure and

promotion to conduct this evaluation. Instead, the Evaluation Committee will focus on whether

there is [evidence of] sustained overall unsatisfactory performance (such as [including but not

limited to] incompetence and lack of appropriate expertise) that renders the faculty member

professionally unfit to perform the minimum duties of his or her position.

 

The second change of striking the phrase “evidence of” is designed to remove the

ambiguity of such a provision in a legal document. In law, “evidence” means only some

evidence, not adequate proof. The intent of this provision is presumably to require that some

standard of proof be met, but burdens of proof are more aptly stated in the context of a dueprocess

hearing, which is nowhere provided in the current proposal (though it would be restored

by proposed amendments 2(D) and 3, below).

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee rejected the second proposed revision (change) to Section 2.6.2 Procedures B. 3 as it is inconsistent with the intent of the committee to avoid the legally problematic equating of unsatisfactory performance with professional “unfitness.

 

The third change of inserting the word “overall” is intended to conform with the phrase

as used elsewhere in this section, such as in the preceding paragraph. Using two different

phrases to mean the same thing is an invitation to ambiguity and misunderstanding.

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee accepted the third proposed revision (change) to Section 2.6.2 Procedures B. 3. 

 

The fourth change replaces the ambiguous legalism “including but not limited to” with

the legally preferable “such as,” in order to make it clear that “sustained overall unsatisfactory

performance” must comprise something very much like the examples of incompetence or lack of

appropriate expertise, rather than something very dissimilar, which might be permitted by the

“not limited to” language.

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee rejected the fourth proposed revision (change) to Section 2.6.2 Procedures B. 3 because it was judged to reduce, not increase clarity.

 

The fifth change of adding the provisions at the end of the paragraph is one of a series

(including amendments 2(D) and 3) designed to link this “post-tenure review” process more

closely to the pre-existing law of academic tenure, so as to avoid a dilution of George Mason

faculty members’ legal tenure rights.

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee accepted the SOL concept that the procedures for conducting the peer evaluation component of post-tenure review needed to be more formally specified, especially with regard to procedures related to academic due process.  However, the Committee rejected the reorganization proposal in the fifth proposed revision (change) to Section 2.6.2 Procedures B. 3 as it is inconsistent with the intent of the committee to avoid the legally and professionally problematic equating of unsatisfactory performance with immoral and criminal conduct.  The Handbook Committee also rejected the assertion that this section “dilutes” the rights of those tenured at GMU.  In fact, this section now incorporates additional protections for GMU’s tenured faculty. 

 

The more formal procedural specifications added to the post-tenure review procedures are as follows:

 

4.   The Evaluation Committee will operate according to the following procedures:

 

a.   The Provost will initiate the evaluation process with a written communication to the faculty member (the “Notice”).  The Notice shall include: 

 

1.  A statement explaining the current employment status of the faculty member and how that could change as a result of post-tenure review.

 

2.  The procedural rights, in detail, of the faculty member (as outlined below).

 

3.  A statement that to maintain employment the faculty member must submit a portfolio summarizing activities and accomplishments in teaching, research, and service, as appropriate, during the period spanning the two unsatisfactory evaluations.  The statement should explicitly note that there is no limit on the amount or type of documentation the faculty member may submit, but that the submitted documentation must include copies of annual evaluation results during the period spanning the two unsatisfactory evaluations.

 

4.  A statement that if the faculty member fails to submit a portfolio within one calendar month of the date the Notice was transmitted, the Provost will make a recommendation for termination to the Board of Visitors without benefit of a committee report.

 

b.   Submitted materials will be reviewed by the Evaluation Committee to determine if the faculty member under review has discharged the duties associated with his or her position conscientiously and with basic professional competence.  The Evaluation Committee will not use the standards associated with the awarding of tenure and promotion to conduct this evaluation.  Instead, the Evaluation Committee will focus on whether there is evidence of sustained overall unsatisfactory performance (including but not limited to incompetence and lack of appropriate expertise).

 

c.   The Evaluation Committee may seek additional clarification from those who made or contributed to the unsatisfactory evaluations that led to the convening of the committee.  Any response to such a request must be made in writing to the committee and shared with the faculty member under review.

 

d.   After the committee has received any additional clarifying information, the faculty member under review must be given an opportunity to formally meet with the committee as part of the evaluation process if so requested.  Such requests must be made in writing by the faculty member to the Chair of the Evaluation Committee .   If the faculty member under review does elect to meet with the Evaluation Committee, a verbatim record of the entire meeting will be made.  If the faculty member so requests, a copy will be provided without cost. 

   

e.   The faculty member under review must also be given an opportunity to have other individuals speak on his or her behalf to the committee if so requested.  Such requests must be made in writing by the faculty member to the Chair of the Evaluation Committee.  If a meeting is held in which others speak on behalf of the faculty member, a verbatim record of that meeting will be made.  If the faculty member so requests, a copy will be provided without cost.

 

f.   In the interest of avoiding unnecessary expense and to promote a prompt resolution, the Evaluation Committee may set reasonable time limits on speakers.     

 

g.   The recommendation of the Evaluation Committee must be based only on the complete record as presented to the committee following the above steps, and must be conveyed to the Provost in writing along with a recorded vote.   

 

 

 

2.6.2 Post Tenure Review Policies and Procedures – 2009 Revision, p. 43 (SOL Resolution C):

 C) Page 43, in the “PROCEDURE” subdivision, paragraph 4:

 

“4. Outcomes from the evaluation procedure may include: (a) postponement of sanctions, with

another peer review to be conducted within one calendar year; (b) a determination that no

sanctions are necessary, with appropriate professional development recommendations; (c) a

change in the faculty member’s assignment that is better aligned with his or her strengths; (d)

imposition of appropriate sanctions other than termination; or (e) termination of employment.

Outcome (c) may be recommended in conjunction with outcome (a) or (b). Termination can only

be considered by the provost if a two-thirds majority of those [making] authorized to make a

recommendation to the provost vote to recommend termination. If termination is recommended

and the provost endorses this recommendation, the faculty member undergoing review must be

given at least six months notice before termination can take effect.

 

Explanatory Note

These changes are intended to create a two-thirds super-majority requirement (of those

authorized to vote) for dismissal recommendations, and thus to protect faculty members against

a politicized environment or the manipulation of committee membership or committee meeting

schedules. If in fact a tenured faculty member’s dismissal is to be recommended, this should be

based on a peer consensus, and not a bare committee majority, or a bare majority of a committee

meeting.

 

There is a good case to require an even higher super-majority (like the 5 of 6 minimum in

some civil jury trials), or even unanimity (as required in criminal jury trials); the two-thirds

requirement is analogous to court-martial procedure.

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee and the Provost rejected the proposed revisions (changes) to Section 2.6.2 Procedure C. 4 in an effort to maintain a more appropriate balance between individual and organizational interests.  Further, the analogy of post-tenure review to criminal trials and court-martial procedures was judged to be misguided.  This proposal would have incorporated legalistic formalities and burdens of proof of a nature the committee rejected during the revision process. 

 

2.6.2 Post Tenure Review Policies and Procedures – 2009 Revision , p. 43 (SOL Resolution D):

 D) Page 43, in the “PROCEDURE” subdivision, paragraph 6:

 

(D) Page 43, paragraph 6:

“6. In the event the faculty member’s employment is to be terminated in accordance with [the

procedures of ] this section, such termination shall not be final until the procedures of [and]

Section 2.9.3 are met [shall not apply]. In such a case, the particulars of the faculty member’s

sustained overall unsatisfactory performance shall constitute the charges drafted by the

President. However, nothing in this section shall act to prevent or prohibit termination of

employment of a faculty member for other causes in accordance with the procedure set forth in

Section 2.9.3."

 

Explanatory Note

Both this amendment and amendment 3 below are intended to complete the re-linking of

the post-tenure review provisions back to the existing substantive legal protections of tenure, in

terms of both grounds for dismissal for cause and procedural protections for the faculty member.

Post-tenure review should not be used to change the definition of academic tenure, but

only to provide a process for ongoing review. In contrast, the bulk of the current draft proposal

is focused on establishing an independent mechanism for termination. The Law Faculty believes

that de-linking the termination mechanism from the pre-existing provisions for dismissal with

cause violates both the legal definition of tenure and the due process rights of affected

individuals. This amendment proposes to rectify those violations.

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee rejected the proposed revisions (changes) to Section 2.6.2 Procedure D.6  as it is inconsistent with the intent of the committee to avoid the legally and professionally problematic equating of unsatisfactory performance with immoral and criminal conduct.   

 

Note-In accordance with this proposed change, a conforming amendment must to made to

proposed § 2.9.3, to restore the ground of termination for professional unfitness, as follows:

2.9.3 Termination of Appointment of Tenured, Tenure-Track, and Term Faculty Members

for Cause (Pages 69-72 of Template 2) (conforming amendment to implement 2(D)).

On page 69, at the end of the second full paragraph, add the following new sentence:

Adequate cause also may include sustained overall unsatisfactory performance that renders

the faculty member professionally unfit to perform the minimum duties of his or her position,

but only if such charges are formulated and screened in accordance with Section 2.6.2. In

such cases, referral to the University Grievance committee is not required, and the procedures

shall begin with the President’s decision pursuant to subsection c below.

Explanatory Note

This is conforming amendment, for the reasons noted under amendment 2(D) above.

Readers should take note, however, that its provisions are necessitated by changes in the general

termination procedures to remove local peer faculty screening from that process. The general

wisdom of that change also is questionable.

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee rejected the proposed revisions (changes) to Section 2.9.3 as it is inconsistent with the intent of the committee to avoid the legally and professionally problematic equating of unsatisfactory performance with immoral and criminal conduct.   

 

Additional changes to 2.6.2 recommended by FHC and University Counsel

 

2.6.2 Post Tenure Review Policies and Procedures – 2009 – p. 41 Policy (FHC/BW): Delete the first sentence of  4): Tenured faculty members who receive an annual overall unsatisfactory evaluation rating twice in four years will meet with the appropriate dean, institute director, or vice-president.”  The revised 4) “Tenured faculty members who receive an annual overall unsatisfactory evaluation rating twice in four years will meet with the appropriate dean, institute director, or vice-president.  Tenured faculty members who receive two overall “unsatisfactory” ratings in a four-year period will undergo a peer evaluation process to determine if continued employment with the university is appropriate (as described in the following section).

 

2.6.2 Post Tenure Review Policies and Procedures – 2009 – p. 42 Procedure (FHC/BW):

1)  In the first sentence, insert “but do not meet the criterion stated in paragraph 3 below” between “annual review” and “will meet”:  “1.  Tenured faculty who receive an overall unsatisfactory rating during any annual review but do not meet the criterion stated in paragraph 3 below will meet with the appropriate LAU administrator to establish a written plan of action.  The plan will include a timetable.”

2) In the paragraph following d):  first sentence:  insert “and” and remove “;” between “faculty member” and “one copy” and delete the phrase “and if the faculty member has received a second “unsatisfactory” rating in any four-year period, one copy will be filed with the Office of the Provost.”   Insert “In addition, the Provost will be notified that the faculty member was given an unsatisfactory evaluation.” as the second sentence of 2).  Move the first sentence of the first paragraph in 3) to become the third sentence of 2): The LAU administrator and the Office of the Provost will address relevant issues in subsequent annual evaluations during the rolling five four-year period.

 

The full paragraph  following d) as revised:   One copy of the plan of action will be retained by the faculty member and one copy will be placed in the faculty member’s personnel file in the office of the LAU administrator. and if the faculty member has received a second “unsatisfactory” rating in any four-year period, one copy will be filed with the Office of the Provost.   In addition, the Provost will be notified that the faculty member was given an unsatisfactory evaluation.  The LAU administrator and the Office of the Provost will address relevant issues in subsequent annual evaluations during the rolling five four-year period.  Faculty members pursuing a plan of action for correcting unsatisfactory performance will be encouraged to avail themselves of university resources designed to assist all faculty in professional development.

 

3) In paragraph one, add as final sentence:  “For faculty not specifically affiliated with a specific LAU, the Evaluation Committee will be the Promotion and Tenure Committee of the school/college/institute most closely aligned with the faculty member’s areas of expertise, as judged by the faculty member.”  The revised paragraph: 3.  Tenured faculty members who receive two overall “unsatisfactory” ratings in a four-year period will be required to submit a summary of activities and accomplishments in teaching, research, and service, as appropriate, during the four-year period, along with copies of annual evaluation results for that four-year period to the school/college/institute Promotion and Tenure Committee (i.e., the body authorized to conduct second-level review under the provisions of Section 2.7.3), serving as an Evaluation Committee.  For faculty not specifically affiliated with a specific LAU, the Evaluation Committee will be the Promotion and Tenure Committee of the school/college/institute most closely aligned with the faculty member’s areas of expertise, as judged by the faculty member.

3) Paragraphs two and three were incorporated in a complete revision of 4); 4)  p. 43 becomes 5). 

 

4.   The Evaluation Committee will operate according to the following procedures:

 

a.   The Provost will initiate the evaluation process with a written communication to the faculty member (the “Notice”).  The Notice shall include: 

 

1.  A statement explaining the current employment status of the faculty member and how that could change as a result of post-tenure review.

 

2.  The procedural rights, in detail, of the faculty member (as outlined below).

 

3.  A statement that to maintain employment the faculty member must submit a portfolio summarizing activities and accomplishments in teaching, research, and service, as appropriate, during the period spanning the two unsatisfactory evaluations.  The statement should explicitly note that there is no limit on the amount or type of documentation the faculty member may submit, but that the submitted documentation must include copies of annual evaluation results during the period spanning the two unsatisfactory evaluations.

 

4.  A statement that if the faculty member fails to submit a portfolio within one calendar month of the date the Notice was transmitted, the Provost will make a recommendation for termination to the Board of Visitors without benefit of a committee report.

 

b.   Submitted materials will be reviewed by the Evaluation Committee to determine if the faculty member under review has discharged the duties associated with his or her position conscientiously and with basic professional competence.  The Evaluation Committee will not use the standards associated with the awarding of tenure and promotion to conduct this evaluation.  Instead, the Evaluation Committee will focus on whether there is evidence of sustained overall unsatisfactory performance (including but not limited to incompetence and lack of appropriate expertise).

 

c.   The Evaluation Committee may seek additional clarification from those who made or contributed to the unsatisfactory evaluations that led to the convening of the committee.  Any response to such a request must be made in writing to the committee and shared with the faculty member under review.

 

d.   After the committee has received any additional clarifying information, the faculty member under review must be given an opportunity to formally meet with the committee as part of the evaluation process if so requested.  Such requests must be made in writing by the faculty member to the Chair of the Evaluation Committee .   If the faculty member under review does elect to meet with the Evaluation Committee, a verbatim record of the entire meeting will be made.  If the faculty member so requests, a copy will be provided without cost. 

   

e.   The faculty member under review must also be given an opportunity to have other individuals speak on his or her behalf to the committee if so requested.  Such requests must be made in writing by the faculty member to the Chair of the Evaluation Committee.  If a meeting is held in which others speak on behalf of the faculty member, a verbatim record of that meeting will be made.  If the faculty member so requests, a copy will be provided without cost.

 

f.   In the interest of avoiding unnecessary expense and to promote a prompt resolution, the Evaluation Committee may set reasonable time limits on speakers.     

 

h.   The recommendation of the Evaluation Committee must be based only on the complete record as presented to the committee following the above steps, and must be conveyed to the Provost in writing along with a recorded vote.   

 

New 5) Sentence 2:   Insert “or (d)”after (a) or (b); remove “or” and insert comma between (a) and (b)..  Insert  new third sentence:  “In the event of any outcome other than (e), the faculty member will meet with the appropriate LAU administrator to establish a written plan of action following the guidelines specified in paragraphs 1 and 2 of these procedures.” In the last sentence, add “written” between “six months” and “notice”.   5)  Outcomes from the evaluation procedure may include:  (a) postponement of sanctions, with another peer review to be conducted within one calendar year; (b) a determination that no sanctions are necessary, with appropriate professional development recommendations; (c) a change in the faculty member’s assignment that is better aligned with his or her strengths; (d) imposition of appropriate sanctions other than termination; or (e) termination of employment. Outcome (c) may be recommended in conjunction with outcome (a), (b), or (d).  In the event of any outcome other than (e), the faculty member will meet with the appropriate LAU administrator to establish a written plan of action following the guidelines specified in paragraphs 1 and 2 of these procedures.  Termination can only be considered by the Provost if a majority of those making a recommendation to the Provost vote to recommend termination.  If termination is recommended and the Provost endorses this recommendation, the faculty member undergoing review must be given at least six months written notice before termination can take effect. 

Please note:  4) e-g, 5), 6), and 7) form a new page 44 in Master Template Chapter Two.

 

 

2.7.2 Procedures for Reappointment (Contract Renewal) 2009 Revision – p. 50 (FHC)  As noted in the Tables of Contents in Chapter One,  Section 2.7.2 Procedures for Renewal (Reappointment) has been retitled as 2.7.2 Procedures for Reappointment (Contract Renewal) for greater clarity.

2.7.2 Procedures for Reappointment (Contract Renewal) 2009 Revision – p. 50 (FHC) In paragraph e.  “term” was inserted between “one-year” and “appointment” in order to eliminate any misunderstandings that may arise should non-renewed faculty member fail to comprehend one-year appointment is terminal (final), useful redundancy:  

“e.  If the decision reached is for non-renewal, the faculty member will receive a terminal, one-year term appointment following the completion of the initial three-year tenure-track appointment, contingent on the faculty member having submitted an appropriate and timely portfolio of materials for the purpose of seeking tenure-track contract renewal.”

 

2.7.2 Procedures for Reappointment (Contract Renewal) 2009 Revision – p. 51 (FHC), Paragraph one, last sentence: “term” inserted for reasons described above (p. 49):  : “ In the event of non-renewal at any stage of this process, the faculty member will receive a terminal, one-year term appointment following the decision for non-renewal assuming that an appropriate and timely portfolio of supporting materials has been submitted.”

2.7.2 Procedures for Reappointment (Contract Renewal) 2009 Revision – p. 51 (FHC):  Paragraph two was moved to form the first sentence of 2.7.3 Procedures for Promotion and Tenure – 2009 Revision – p. 54 , Section H:   A faculty member in the sixth year of service will be notified in writing on or before July 1 by the President of a decision not to recommend for tenure.  The phrase “in the sixth year of service” was also deleted.

2.7.3 Procedures for Promotion and Tenure – 2009 Revision,  p. 53 (FHC):  To accommodate two tier review procedure at the School of Law, “above” was inserted between “the” and “paragraphs” and references to previous paragraphs deleted. 

4.   The School of Law is exempt from the provisions specified in the above paragraphs (1) and (2), but it is not exempt from the requirement for two-level peer review.

 

2.7.3.2 Tenure Clock Extension for Serious Illness – NEW 2009, p. 58 (FHC)  The following sentence was added as the final sentence of  last paragraph, adapted from 2.7.3.1 Tenure Clock Extension for New Parents:  Extensions due to serious illness are independent of study leaves.”

2.7.3.3 Tenure Clock Extension for Military Service – NEW 2009, p. 59 (FHC):  The following two sentences were adatped from 2.7.3.2 Tenure Clock Extnesion for Serious Illness and added to the end of the last paragraph:  At the time of tenure consideration, a faculty member will be considered using the same criteria as those applied to other faculty in the college, school, or institute. Extensions due to military service are independent of study leaves.”  The phrase, “for example” was added to the third sentence: “Therefore, for example, an active duty assignment lasting between 4 through 15 months will earn a one-year extension, 16 through 27 months will earn a two-year extension”.

 

2.9.2 Discontinuation of Degree Programs – 2009 Revision, p. 68 (FHC):   In the third sentence, “and” was inserted between “program” and “holding”:  “Faculty adversely affected by the discontinuation of a degree program and holding multi-year term appointments will be given at least one academic year's notice of the decision to discontinue a program.”.  In the last sentence, “the” was inserted between “appointment in” and “face”:  Procedures and safeguards will parallel those provided for termination of appointment in the face of financial exigency, where applicable (see Section 2.9.1).”

 

2.9.3 Termination of Appointment of Tenured, Tenure-Track, and Term Faculty Members for Cause – 2009 Revision, p. 71 (FHC):  The reference to an AAUP document was removed from

“10.  All the evidence should be duly recorded.   It is not necessary to follow formal rules of court procedures (from AAUP:  Statement on Procedural Standards, p. 12).” as its pagination and title may change. 

 

2.10.6 Political Candidacy – 2009 Revision, p. 82 (SOL Draft Changes): 

 

Language:  “Members of the academic community who consider running for political office must notify the President…. 

 

Explanation: We assume that “members” are limited to individuals governed by the Handbook, but it would be clearer if this section stated that explicitly.  But what is a “political office?”  Elective office?  Do party positions count?  Do campaigns for nonpartisan office count?

 

Revision:  Faculty who run for elective office must notify the President in advance… Members of the academic community who consider running for political office must notify the President…. 

 

OUTCOME:  The Faculty Handbook Committee accepted the proposed revision with one change:  to retain “inform” in lieu of “notify” as suggested by University Counsel:  Faculty who run  for elective office must inform the President in advance...”Members of the academic community who consider running for political...

 

 

2.11.1 Academic Freedom and Civil Liberties – 2009 Revision, p. 87 (SOL Draft Changes):

 

Language: One of the vital activities of a university is the critical examination of ideologies and institutions. It is essential that faculty members have the right to express their views responsibly, and the University is committed to upholding the principles of academic freedom to protect the expression of faculty members without fear of censorship or retaliation….

 

Faculty personnel actions, including initial appointment, reappointment, and promotion and tenure will not be affected by non- academic considerations such as the exercise of academic freedom and civil liberties.

 

Explanation:  “Responsible” is subjective and open to different perspectives, which makes the protection in this clause unreliable.  Moreover, how can exercise of academic freedom be “non-academic?”  Also, faculty personnel decisions are influenced by non-academic considerations – for instance the suspension of faculty convicted of a felony.

 

Revision: One of the vital activities of a university is the critical examination of ideologies and institutions. It is essential that faculty members have the right to express their views responsibly, and the University is committed to upholding the principles of academic freedom to protect the expression of faculty members without fear of censorship or retaliation….

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee accepted the proposed revision to delete “responsibly”.

 

2.11.1 Academic Freedom and Civil Liberties – 2009 Revision, p. 87 (SOL Draft Changes):

Faculty personnel actions, including initial appointment, reappointment, and promotion and tenure will not be affected by non-academic considerations such as the exercise of academic freedom

and civil liberties.

 

OUTCOME:  The Handbook Committee did not accept the proposed revision to delete the entire final paragraph of 2.11.1 as noted above; however the phrase “non-academic” was deleted so that the revised paragraph reads:  Faculty personnel actions, including initial appointment, reappointment, and promotion and tenure will not be affected by non-academic considerations such as the exercise of academic freedom and civil liberties.”

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

3.2 SALARY INCREASES – 2009 Revision – p. 2 (FHC):  To replace “dispersed” with “disbursed” at the end of the last sentence of paragraph two: it is the responsibility of the University to ensure such funds are disbursed dispersed accordingly.

 

 3.6 Faculty Development – 2009 Revision – p. 6 (FHC): To insert “among other opportunities” at the beginning of the final sentence.  These may include, among other opportunities, departmental study leaves, competitive awards in the form of summer stipends and University study leaves, opportunities to consider new approaches to teaching and the assessment of teaching (e.g. portfolio development), and assisting faculty with the application of new technologies to instruction.”

 

3.6.1 Study Leave for Tenure-Track Faculty -  2009 – p. 7 (FHC):  In the first sentence, to  insert  “at some point” between “leave” and “during” to further clarify:  All assistant and or associate professors appointed to their first tenure-track positions will be granted a one-semester study leave at some point during the first five years of the tenure-track cycle.” 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate